Weather News In Brief - Jan 06 2011

Met Eireann forecaster John Eagleton has told RTE that snow or sleet can be expected tomorrow, especially in Munster, but conditions will not be as severe or prolonged as over the holiday period.  According to the latest forecasts the last of the rain, sleet and snow will clear from Leinster and Munster early on Saturday morning and conditions will improve thereafter. Listen to John Eagleton speak on Newstalk.  See Irish Weather Online forecast. 

  • HIRLAM model illustration of where rain/sleet/snow is likely to fall across Ireland and the UK tomorrow and Saturday. Click on Nedbor.

  • The head of Northern Ireland's under-fire water supplier announced his resignation Thursday after thousands of homes in the British province were deprived of water for days, reports AFP.  Laurence MacKenzie, (pictured right) chief executive of state-owned Northern Ireland Water (NIW), said he was quitting after freezing weather followed by a rapid thaw damaged pipes and sparked the crisis in the run-up to Christmas.  At its peak, 40,000 people in the province were without supplies and there were long queues in the streets to collect fresh water at distribution centres.
  • SPACE: NOAA forecasters estimate a 20%-25% chance of geomagnetic storms on Jan. 7-8 when a solar wind stream is expected to hit Earth's magnetic field. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. MORE
  • Quadrantid meteor shower, 04 Jan. Click HERE to view images

USA: The recent, mysterious deaths of thousands of blackbirds in Arkansas and Louisiana around New Year's Eve has made news around the world and defied a conclusive answer., reports Live Science.  The best explanation so far is that fireworks may have scared or disoriented the birds, causing them to fatally injure themselves flying into buildings, water towers and trees. As bizarre and unexplained as these events may seem, they are only the latest of many mysterious animals deaths over the years. Here are a few cases.
UK: A small magnitude 1.1 magnitude aftershock from Tuesday's 3.6 earthquake in Yorkshire was recorded at Ripon on Wednesday, the British Geological Survey has confirmed.
AUSTRALIA: Heavy rain has been falling in eastern Australia, bringing fresh misery to flood-hit communities where hundreds of homes are already under water, reports BBC. Forecasters predict central and southern Queensland will be worst hit by the latest deluge, which will last into the weekend.
CHINA: Days of harsh weather have wreaked havoc in southern China, disrupting transport, straining power networks and forcing thousands of people to flee their homes, NTDTV reports. Torrential icy rain across the provinces of Jiangxi, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan and Guizhou has forced 58,000 people to evacuate from their damaged homes.
USA: Federal officials will conduct a special survey to determine how this season's cold weather has affected Florida's citrus crop, reports Bloomberg. According to a news release from the United States Department of Agriculture, researchers will cut oranges and grapefruit to record the extent of freeze damage. They will also assess leaf damage and administer maturity tests to determine internal juice quality from groves throughout the citrus growing region.
USA: The National Weather Service has a Hazardous Weather Outlook for parts of the region as it is tracking the possibility of a storm that could leave an accumulating snowfall starting late Thursday night and all day Friday, according to the Times Herald Record.  A low pressure system is forecast to develop off the mid-atlantic coast by Friday and then track northeast to off the New England coast by Saturday.
Astrophysicist and Meteorologist Piers Corbyn speaking on Fox News